by William Rutledge
The 2014-15 regular season is coming to a close and the Bobcats are looking forward to the playoffs. The Bobcats have split their last four games with a record of 2-2. Their current overall record is 12-11 with a record of 12-4 in the AMCC conference. They’re still sitting near the top of the conference with only two games remaining in the regular season and the playoffs just around the corner at the end of this month.
The team is having a good season and is hoping to continue that the rest of the way. Marcus Thomas said, “our team has played well the past few games because of our ability to play unselfish basketball and also by playing at our tempo. We have done a good job of making teams uncomfortable all season long by speeding up the pace of the game and wearing teams down late in games. We need to continue to do these things as the season progresses if we wish to continue to be successful.”
On February 4, they took on Franciscan University on the road in Steubenville Ohio. They had beaten Franciscan earlier in the year with a 95-60 blowout win, hoping to do the same the second time. The first half was back and forth on the scoreboard until UPG went on an 8 point run to lead 40-31 at the half. The second half was a different story with the Bobcats dominating play, never ceasing the lead and leading by as many as 20 points. The Bobcats shooting game stepped up in the second half with an overall 29 for 58 shooting margin. The Bobcats ended up winning 77-68. Senior Brian Heinle led the team in scoring with 18 points which brought him to 980 career points with the Bobcats.
The Bobcats then traveled to Buffalo New York on February 7 to face Medaille College. They had lost to Medaille by 3 points earlier in the year and were looking for revenge this time around. The first half was tightly contested between the two teams with Medaille taking a 46-42 lead into halftime. The Mavericks took complete control of the game in the second half making shot after shot. The Bobcats ended up losing by a final score of 94-80. Junior Rocco Contristano led the Bobcats in scoring with 20 points in the Bobcats loss.
The Bobcats returned home for a game against La Roche on February 11. They rallied to beat La Roche earlier in the season by only 2 points. This game started much like the first meeting with La Roche taking a 15 point lead in the first half. The Bobcats closed the margin to 7 by halftime. The score was tied in the second half when UPG went on a 10 point scoring run to take a sizable lead on La Roche. The Bobcats won 71-64. Junior Mike Connelly was the high scorer with 16 points in the Bobcat Victory.
UPG was set for a Valentine’s Day matchup with Hilbert College, who they defeated 100-98 earlier this season. UPG was down in the first half but rallied at the end to tie it up before Marcus Thomas made a buzzer beating three pointer to take a 53-50 half time lead. The Bobcats shooting fell off in the second half as Hilbert took that opportunity to start making shots. Hilbert was too much for the Bobcats winning the game by a final score of 98-83. The bright spot of the day though, was Brian Heinle reaching the historic mark of 1000 career points in a Bobcat uniform.
The Bobcats have two games left on the schedule against Mount Aloysius College and Penn-State Behrend. The Bobcats look to win those two games to carry momentum into the playoffs which are fast approaching. The Bobcats have already locked up a top four seed in the AMCC playoffs which means there will be a playoff game right here on campus.